Baradla Education Trail
are only a very few shrub species in the forest. However, early in the
spring the undergrowth is like a colourful carpet because of snowdrops
(Galanthus nivalis), yellow anemones (Anemone ranunculoides), and corydalis species (Corydalis sp.). In the summer other species are in bloom
such as the bird’s nest orchid (Neottia nidus-avis), dark red helleborine
(Epipactis atrorubens) and Turk’s cap lily (Lilium martagon). A typical
inhabitant of a hornbeam-oak forest is the agile frog (Rana dalmatina)
who is able to jump even 1 m length at a time. Hollows of trees are occupied by tit species (Parus sp.), nuthatches (Sitta europea) and collard
flycatcher (Ficedula albicollis). Mammals like the common dormouse
(Muscardinus avellanarius), fat dormouse (Glis glis) and marten (Martes
martes) can also be observed.
13. Vörös-tó (Red Lake) entrance of Baradla Cave
On behalf of the Carpathian Association of Hungary, Kálmán Münich
and his collegues were in charge of constructing the Vörös-tó exit (currently it is used as an entrance). It was ready on 15th March 1890. In
2005 the main passage of the Baradla Cave between the Vörös-tó entrance and Jósvafő was reconstructed as well as a modern visitor centre
15. Steinalm limestone formation
Interesting white coloured „buildings” of ancient blue algae (so called „oncoids”) can be observed on the surface of the nearby rock. Blue algae lived in
the shallow tropical sea in the area about 240 million years ago. They lived
in lagoons where the water was continuously in motion. They settled down
on some solid surface eg a piece of shell, and they grew around it like a ball
reaching even 5 cm diameter.
16. Béke Cave
It was discovered by Professor László Jakucs in 1952. Its total length is
7 km, it is the second longest cave in the Aggtelek Karst. The temperature
is constantly +10 ˚C, the relative humidity is nearly 100%, there are calcium and magnesium ions in balance in the air and there are no pollens
and dust so the air is perfect to cure diseases of the respiratory system (eg.
asthma). Béke Cave was declared to be a medicinal cave in 1969.
17. Komlós Spring
The spring has a crystal-clear cold water and it is surrounded by a rich
vegetation: in the spring a yellow carpet of marsh marigold (Caltha palus-
14. Red Lake and Bear Rocks
The Red Lake is actually
a dolina full of rainwater.
It is called „red” because
terra rossa (or „red soil”)
containing a lot of ironoxide covers the surrounding areas.
The Bear Rocks are about
240 million years old
karst formations, they are
interesting from geological p
int off view
i bbecause th
karstic evolution two times. The shells of ancient sea animals (calcareous sponges – Calcarea, feather stars – Crinoidea, bivalved mollusks Lamellibranchia) can be observed on the surface of the rocks.
tris), lesser celandine (Ficaria verna) and golden saxifrage (Chrysosplenium
alternifolium) can be seen, while it is blue in the summer because of water
forget-me-not (Myosotis palustris).
18. Lower Caves of the Baradla Cave
The biggest flood was recorded in the Baradla Cave in August 1955. Researches were carried out at that time revealing that the Jósva Spring brings
the underground water of the Long and Short Lower Caves to the surface.
There is a door made of iron rods at the artificial entrance of the Long
Lower Cave. Although, researchers managed to reach the main passage
of the cave, it is still not completely discovered. The Short Lower Cave is
already fully discovered, its total length is 1 km.
19. Jósvafő exit of the Baradla Cave
On the basis of the surveys
and plans of Péter Kaffka,
the exit of the Baradla Cave
in Jósvafő was constructed
in 1928. This way it is
possible to walk along the
7 km long main passage
of the Baradla Cave from
Aggtelek to Jósvafő.
Hubert Kessler Memory House
The Hubert Kessler Memory House can be found next to iit where
h an iinteresting
hibi i can
be seen on the life and work of the former director and researcher of
the Baradla Cave. He lived and worked in the karst between 1935
and 1945. He was responsible for the construction of the Tengerszem
Hotel as well as the Tengerszem Lake.
Editior in chief: Gábor Salamon director
Edited by: Employees of the Ecotourism and Environmental Education Department
Photo: ANP archívum, Juraj Popovics
Aggtelek National Park Directorate
3758 Jósvafő, Tengerszem oldal 1.
Nature Protection and Tourism Information Centre
Phone: +36 48/506-000
3759 Aggtelek, Baradla oldal 3.
Fax: +36 48/506-001
Phone: +36 48/503-000 Fax: +36 48/503-002
European Regional Development Fund
The content of this leaflet does not necessarily represent the official position of the European Union.
Mark: yellow line
Length: 7,5 km
Duration: about 3 hours
The Baradla Education Trail connects the Aggtelek and Jósvafő entrances
of the Baradla Cave. By hiking the trail, it is a good opportunity to get
knowledge on the biodiversity of the karst, the surface karst formations
and the connections among them.
1. Information map
(at the entrance of the Baradla Cave, Aggtelek)
Before starting the unforgettable exploration of the education trail, please,
read through carefully the information on the board and check the rout on
the map. The rout of the education trail can also be found on the maps of
the area showing other tourist trails and education trails, too (eg. the map
issued by Cartographia).
2. Top of the Baradla Hill
The name „Baradla” is supposed to originate from the
Slovak word „bradlo” meaning „rock wall”. Probably first
it was the name of the 51 m
high rock wall at the cave
entrance, then it became the
name of the cave. This natural entrance of the cave used
to be a swallet. Nowadays it
is inactive, one of the biggest operating
to iit iis the
Swallet. About 235 million years ago a shallow tropical sea could have been
found in the area which was inhabited by plenty of marine protozoans with
calcareous shells (Foraminifera). Their tiny remnant parts can be observed
on the surface of the rocks. Close to the stop an interesting surface karst
formation, the so called „cross-bar” karren can be seen. It was created by
rainwater flowing down the slope.
3. Flora of the karst
Due to the unique geological
location and climate, both Carpathian species preferring cold,
wet habitats as well as other
species preferring warm habitats can be found in the area.
A karst scrub forest, a slope
steppe and a rock grassland
near the stop are all housing
Karst scrub forest
species preferring warm, dry
habitats. The foliage of karst scrubb forests
i not thick,
hi k that
shrub species can be found in the undergrowth. Typical tree and shrub species are the following: downy oak (Quercus pubescens), beam trees (Sorbus
sp.), mahaleb cherry (Cerasus mahaleb).
Endangered species of slope steppes: greater pasque flower (Pulsatilla grandis), feather grasses (Stipa sp.), tuberous Jerusalem sage (Phlomis tuberosa).
Rock grasslands are interesting because of the several moss, lichen and
house-leek (Sempervivum sp.) species that can live on the surface of rocks
and in their fissures. The Baden’s bluegrass (Poa badensis) is also a typical
species of rock grasslands.
4. Fauna of the karst
The fauna of the karst is extremely rich. For exmple the
karst scrub forests of the Aggtelek Karst provide habitat for
an endangered bird species, the
rock bunting (Emberiza cia).
Slope steppes and rock grasslands have a special butterfly
fauna. Typical butterfly species
of the area are clouded Apollo
(Parnassius mnemosyne), northern brown
((A i i artaxerxes)) and
endemic Fritillary species called Melitaea telona kovacsi. The biggest orthopteroid species of Hungary, the matriarchal katydid (Saga pedo) also lives
here. The so called ladybird spider (Eresus cinnabarinus), which male has a
characteristic red and black colour, prefers living in slope steppes. Lizards
also live there in large numbers like the green lizard (Lacerta viridis) and
the wall lizard (Lacerta muralis).
5. Flora of the Lake Hill
The Lake Hill was used to be
covered with a forest. After
cutting off the trees, rainwater
flowing down the slope of the
hill removed the thin fertile
soil layer that is why now slope
steppes and rock grasslands can
be found there. By the presence
of the specimens of a coniferStonecrop
ous shrub species, the juniper
(Juniperus communis), the slope of the Lake Hill shows a cha-racteristic landscape of the karst.
6. Aggtelek Lake and the „Devil’s Plough”
In the beginning of the 1800s
the lake did not even exist. Instead of it, a swallet surrounded by cabbage fields could
have been found. Rainwater
rushing through the former
swallet was responsible for
the evolution of the Turkish
Mosque Branch of the Baradla
Cave. Rainwater also carried
plenty of stones, mud and pieces off wood
ft a while
k d th
bottom of the swallet resulting in the accumulation of water.
The largest karrenfeld of Hungary can be observed on the slope of the
Lake Hill that is called by locals the „Devil’s Plough”. Pipe-like holes can
be seen in the rocks, they are called root karrens because they were created
by acid produced by the trees previously living on the slope.
7. Zombor Hole Swallet
The Zombor Hole leads rainwater into the Red Branch of
the Baradla Cave. The swallet has evolved along the
border of the non-covered
and the clay-covered parts of
the karst. Several small farmlands can be seen around the
swallet. These relatively narCorn-cockle
row, „belt-like” fields are still
suitable habitats for those plant and
i l species
i among which
hi h severall
ones has dissappeared in the other parts of Hungary because of industrial
Italy, the animals, the
merchants and nature.
He established an order,
the members of it live a
very poor and modest life.
His basic theory was that
each living creature is the
brother and sister of humans. His famous poem,
Chapel of Assisi Saint Francis
titled the „Hymn to the
Sun” expresses his points of view
He was as well
i on this
d l d
to be the patron of nature conservation by Pope John Paul II.
11. Dolinas with junipers
The Big Tricky Hole (Nagy Ravasz-lyuk) is the swallet of the Radish Branch
which is the largest branch of the Baradla Cave in Hungary. The underground passage of the Big Tricky Hole becomes united with the underground passage of the Little Tricky Hole about 200 m north of this place.
Rainwater always carries plenty of gravel through these swallets into the
cave, they play an important role in the continuous evolution of the 1250 m
long Radish Branch that can be visited by taking part in a special cave tour.
Dolinas are similar to round or oval bowls, they have been evolved by
solution of limestone. They can be found in quite a large number in the
Aggtelek Karst. The area at the stop used to be a forest. After cutting
off trees, the area was used as a pasture where plant species tolerating
grazing of animals became abundant. Currently succession is going on,
that is why plenty of junipers can be seen. Junipers are coniferous species but there are no resin canals within their trunks and branches. Its
wood is strong and good for carpentry. The unripe fruits are green,
while ripe ones are dark blue, they are used for preparing medicines,
spices and perfumes.
9. Traditional herding in the karst
12. Hornbeam-oak forest
Hay meadows and pastures were created by cutting off trees. Unfortunately, a lot of hay meadows and pastures have been invaded by weeds
or shrubs, and trees have begun to spread as a result of the declining
number of household animals. Typical endangered species of pastures are
the cross-leaved gentian plant (Gentiana cruciata) and the stemless carline
thistle (Carlina acaulis)
Hornbeam-oak forest prefer northern cold, wet slopes and valleys. The
upper tree stratum consists
of durmast oak (Quercus
petrea), the lower one is
of hornbeam (Carpinus
betulus). Field maple (Acer
campestre) and bird cherry
(Cerasus avium) also occur in the forest. Due to
the thick foliage of the
two tree stratums, there
8. Ravasz-lyuk Swallet
10. Chapel of Assisi Saint Francis
St. Francis was born as a heir of a wealthy merchant family in the town
of Assisi, Italy in 1182. Later he was declared to be the patron saint of